Justin is the newest addition to our coaching staff, but he’s definitely not new to the Cróga community. Less than a month after we opened, Justin happened to ride his bike by the gym and decided to stop in and the rest is history. Over the years, Justin has become a bigger and bigger part of our gym family. He convinced his wife Krystal to start doing CrossFit and she’s been a great fit for our community as well! He’s become our go-to hike leader, a team leader during The Open, and is always willing to volunteer as a judge. This year he took the next step in his CrossFit journey by earning his Level 1 Certification and completing his Cróga internship. Justin is a guy that knows A LOT about many different subjects and it has been a ton of fun watching him add to his knowledge about CrossFit and becoming a better coach week after week. His dedication to his craft and our community are second to none and I look forward to what the future holds for him.
Tell us a little bit about your family, job, and interests:
I recently became a father to one of the #DaughtersOfCroga, Juliet Williams. She’s amazing, and already competing above her age in gymnastics.
My wonderful wife Krystal keeps me sane. (Fun fact: Krystal is Jazzercise royalty.)
When I’m not coaching, I’m helping big companies send you emails (the one’s you actually want, not the other ones.)
I like to go backpacking, hit the shooting range, and make up songs for Juliet. (Pretty sure my Diaper Change song will be topping charts soon).
What was your athletic background before you started CrossFit?
I played Lacrosse in High School and College. I played Goalie. That means those balls you like to massage with were thrown at me at 70+ mph. I had a lot of bruises. The ladies liked ‘em, I’m sure.
Before Lacrosse, I was a competitive ballroom dancer. That’s not a joke.
In college I was walking and a guy tapped me on the arm and said “you should try crew.”
Next morning I was on a boat and fell in love with it.
After rowing I did nothing for a few years, and got huge (not in a good way.)
When my Aunt passed away after many years battling Leukemia, I decided to train for and run a marathon to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I lost 70 pounds and ran (walked) the marathon in 6 hours 58 minutes.
Why/how did you get started with CrossFit?
After the marathon and my weight loss, I felt good but weak. I wanted to run but also keep my strength.
I searched “How to run and keep your strength,” and CrossFit Endurance appeared. I researched a little, and learned that CrossFit was “open source fitness.” I found a box down the street from me that had just opened up. I’m pretty sure I was their first paying member… the rest were just friends of the owner. That was 2010.
What made you decide to become a CrossFit Coach?
I’ve seen a lack of fitness steal happiness from people.
On the flip side, I’ve seen the presence of fitness provide joy and resilience.
Personally, CrossFit, and particularly Cróga, has given me an ideal to strive for, results to point to, and a community to participate in.
I’d like to contribute to that culture, and to the well being of as many people as possible. I believe fitness, and CrossFit’s approach, can do that.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
First, a bomber pilot.
In middle school and high school, an actor.
In college, a journalist.
If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Dog. That’s a nice life.
What is the one food that you could never give up?
Chocolate Milk. Krystal makes the best Chocolate Milk. I’m addicted.
What’s your favorite quote or saying?
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
My commitment to the members of Cróga doesn’t stop when the WOD does: let me know how I can help you. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it.
I’m blessed to work with such great coaches and members. Thank you.